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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

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Spring 2022 Courses

10000-and 20000-level courses are listed here only if they have special topics. For a complete list of courses, see the TCU Course Catalog.

Spring 2022 Course Descriptions

Mat Wenzel 

MW 4:00-5:20

Core: LT, HUM

“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.” Audre Lorde

For many queer, black, indigenous, writers of color, writing is not a luxury but a necessity. In this course we will read poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from QBIPOC authors with joy and empathy, but also critically as writers. We’ll analyze the craft of the works, consider how identities shape the writing, and examine their potential purposes. Students will create a toolbox of strategies to use in their own writing and share these in group discussions and a class craft talk. We’ll employ what we’ve learned in short creative writing drafts, revisions, and remediations.

Readings will include book-length works from SJ Sindu, L. Lamar Wilson, and Billy-Ray Belcourt. Shorter pieces will include contemporary authors like Bryan Washington, Roxane Gay, Ocean Vuong, Natalie Diaz, Rickey Laurentis, Robert McCruer, Octavia Butler, Vivek Shraya, and Janet Mock, as well as authors of the past like Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Melvin Dixon, Gloria Azaldua, and Langston Hughes.

Alex Lemon

MWF 11:00-11:50

Core: WEM

“When I'm writing, I know I'm doing the thing I was born to do,” the poet Anne Sexton said, and in this class we are fortunate to have time and space to do that which, in one way or another, we are all supposed to do. The primary focus of this course is your poetry, but to generate high quality work you must develop your skills at writing poetry by reading and discussing poems, and engaging both traditional and contemporary poetics in a variety of ways.  Course materials will include collections by contemporary poets who will be reading at TCU this spring and an anthology of modern verse. Requirements include weekly writing assignments, journaling, book reviews, and typed workshop responses. Be prepared for the many ways we can work (discussion, writing exercises, workshopping, reading reading reading), for Wallace Stevens was correct when he said “Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.”

Chantel L. Carlson

MWF 1-1:50


English Majors: Writing

Writing Majors: Creative Writing

"I believe in the American theatre. I believe in its power to inform about the human condition, its power to heal ... its power to uncover the truths we wrestle from uncertain and sometimes unyielding realities."

                                                                                            August Wilson

In this dramatic writing workshop, students should become familiar with the possibilities of the modern stage through the exploration of experimental playwrights (and filmed adaptations of these plays): the world of Margaret Edson, August Wilson, Tom Stoppard, and Suzan Lori-Parks to name a few.  Students will study the rise and fall of the character and the ever-changing identity/role of the actor. During the semester, students will also see what's going on in the world of theatre today, including theatrical adaptations, experimentations, and collaborations.  Students will not only apply the principles of dramatic writing (including character and plot development, stage directions, and writing dialogue), but will also become familiar with how experimental playwrights challenged these predefined notions of theatre and created new possibilities for the stage.  Because this is a writing workshop, students will be able to take advantage of a collaborative environment by receiving author-driven feedback on their own written work.  In addition to quizzes, students will be required to write (and perform) several dramatic exercises/scenes, as well as complete a final project.  Film students are also encouraged to apply.

Matthew Pitt

TR 11:00-12:20 

English Majors: Writing 

Writing Majors: Creative Writing

Creative Writing Minors: 40000-level Workshop

Peculiar orphans of the prose world, novellas have been praised as the perfect narrative form by some practitioners (Ian McEwan), and rebuked by others (Katherine Anne Porter). The word itself is Italian for “new little thing,” yet the form has been part of the literary lexicon for centuries, predating shorter fiction and novels alike.

This course considers the novella’s long if conflicted tradition, its patterns of construction, and modern resurgence. Through close readings, we will foster an appreciation of the novella as a vibrant, viable form of its own, one that has endured across many aesthetics, eras, and areas of the world, and is unified by more than just arbitrary word count. Touchstone examples we will likely study include works by James Baldwin, Ted Chiang, Sandra Cisneros, Carson McCullers, Justin Torres, and Edith Wharton.

Drawing from published examples, students will organize notes and fashion a synopsis of their own novella projects, following with submissions of pages, questions and pathways for workshop review. In this setting, writers will receive feedback on how to deepen and expand an initial canvas into something larger. While offering students a means to expand beyond the short story, the course is also an opportune workshop for those considering creative thesis projects, or considering applying for the university’s Excellence in Literary Fiction (ELF) Scholarship.

Prerequisites: CRWT 10203, 20103, or 20133, plus the satisfactory completion of a prior 30000- or 40000-level Creative Writing workshop.

Linda K Hughes

MW 5:30-6:50

Core Categories: LT, HUM

CRES major/minor elective credit

English major: Elective

Writing major: Elective

We will read poems by diverse poets – of different times (centuries ago up to right now), races, ethnicities, sexualities, and access to a society’s resources and rewards – as ways to widen our knowledge of what it means to be human while exploring great themes including love, death, family, identity, nature, and citizenship. The art of poetry means we can do so while also experiencing the pleasures of intriguing rhythms, sounds, and the sheer beauty of language at its best. Since the poet speaks to other people who bring their own diverse life experiences to each poem, we will emphasize group discussion, both in small groups and among us all. Assignments include short written responses (300-500 words) to three assigned poems (consisting of a paraphrase, identification of theme and one aspect of form, and the poem’s handling of theme in relation to the poet’s cultural, social, and personal identity); a performance of one assigned poem you choose; a 1-2 pp. reflection on what you have learned about the poem by performing it; and a final exam.

Ariane Balizet

TR 9:30-10:50

English Majors: British Literature

This class is an introduction to early British Literature from the Middle Ages through 1800. In this class, we will study the history of English literature from the warriors of the Anglo-Saxon period to the love sonneteers of the Renaissance to the satirists of the eighteenth century. Readings will draw from poetry, prose, and drama, as we will trace literary forms and verse styles along with rhetorical conventions across the genres. Our readings will focus on the literary and cultural uses of “strangeness” in reifying and defying literary canons; to that end, we will also study recent and contemporary texts that respond to or give new perspectives on the earlier works. Requirements include regular reading and attendance, reading quizzes, threaded discussions, two analytical essays, and a final project.

Brandon Manning

MWF 10:00-10:50

English Majors: American Literature / Global & Diasporic Literature

This course will survey African American literature from the peculiar institution of slavery to the present. We will move in chronological order as we think through themes, tropes, and aesthetic choices of writers during the Antebellum period, Harlem Renaissance, Jim Crow, Black Arts Movement, and this Post-Civil Rights contemporary moment. We will examine the role of race and racism as well as the vestiges of slavery as we situate literature as an imaginative process by which writers represent, respond, or create alternatives to living in a country that as W.E.B. Du Bois asserts situates blackness as a problem. We will look to seminal figures like Harriet Jacobs, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, and contextualize these figures within their historical moment while thinking about literary and cultural reverberations of their work in the present. We will engage different genres and mediums as weseek the answer to questions such as: What is African American literature? To what extent is African American literature bound to social constructions of race and racism? How have representations of blackness evolved alongside (or outside) the country’s long (often glacial) march towards freedom and justice.

David Colón

TR 2:00-3:20

English majors:  Am Lit/G&D

Writing majors: Elective

Contemporary Latinx Literature is an upper-division study of literary works in English on various genres by U.S. authors of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Cuban, Dominican, and/or Chicanx backgrounds. Historical emphasis will be limited to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics of analysis include race, gender, class, nationality, migration, immigration, and urban studies. Latinx literature will serve as the primary readings for students to engage and examine key concepts of literary criticism and cultural history. Our readings and assignments are geared towards developing the critical thinking skills, vocabulary, and sensitivity necessary to both achieving proficiency in academic discourse in literature and the humanities; and engaging responsibly and constructively in present-day conversations about culture, ethnicity, and citizenship.

Layne Craig

TR 12:30-1:50

English majors:  Major Seminar (Required for students who declared in or after Fall 2014)

In this course, English majors and minors will discuss and examine the practical and professional aspects of the English major while attempting to synthesize and integrate various learning experiences in American literature. This course also introduces English majors and minors to a sustained, long-format research project over the course of the semester. In this section of 38023, we will focus on the array of American literary texts that emerged from World War I in a range of genres, including poetry, drama, memoir, and the novel. We will pay special attention to questions about authenticity, the difference between propaganda and literature, and censorship that often arise in considerations of wartime literature. In-class activities will involve discussion, workshopping student writing, and practice with portfolio design and other post-graduation planning skills. In their writing projects, students will synthesize archival research with the close reading of literary texts and scholarship in order to make arguments about the meanings, contexts, and continued relevance of assigned readings.

Bonnie Blackwell

W 6:00 to 9:40 pm

English majors:  Theory 

This theory course critically examines consumer-driven participatory culture through multiple media, including magazine and newspaper serial publication, film franchises, television series, parodies, pastiches and interactive fan cultures using the case study of Sherlock Holmes, arguably the first modern fan culture.  We will examine themes of fandom within the Sherlock novels and stories, as well as Sherlock fan cultures around the world, with a special emphasis on the US, UK, France and Japan.   Our theoretical lens will include critical examination of fan culture practices including Cosplay, Role playing, Fan Fiction,Superheros, Collective Fan Action, Familial Fan texts, “produsage,” etc. We will practice drafting and revising arguments in a variety of formats, including essay exams, threaded discussions, informalfreewritesand formal papers.  Readings will include Fan Cultures, Textual Poachers, Convergence Culture, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Sign of Four, Nicholas Meyer, The Seven Per Cent Solution

Screenings will include: Miss Sherlock (Japan, 2018), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (UK, 2011), Mr. Holmes, (UK/Japan, 2015), Enola Holmes, (US, 2020), Sherlock, Jr. (US, 1924), The Hound of the Baskervilles (US, 1939), Lupin (France, 2020) and the BBC series Sherlock (UK, 2010-2014).

Daniel Gil

TR 3:30-4:50

Core: Writing Emphasis

English majors: British Literature, Early Lit, Elective

Writing majors: Elective

This course examines the poetry and political writings of John Milton (1608-1674) and traces the reception of his ideas in Enlightenment debates about freedom, nationalism and slavery. Milton was a political revolutionary who used the ideas of the Protestant Reformation to challenge social norms about hierarchy, political action, gender relations, religious authority, and speech. In his great epic poem, Paradise Lost, Milton is a theorist of freedom and its limits. His ideas played a major role in the 18th century, including in the American and French Revolutions where Milton was seen as a champion of liberty. At the same time, Milton’s work was also used to deflate comforting narratives about the inevitable progress of freedom and natural rights. This course pairs in depth study of Milton’s writings with study of the reception of his work by writers such as Thomas Paine, William Godwin and especially Olaudah Equiano whose An Interesting Narrative was one of the earliest autobiographies written by an enslaved person and who quotes Milton frequently as he denounces the evils of slavery and seeks to rally abolitionist forces. Major topics include the political role of art, the theory of revolutionary action, the nature of freedom and free speech, and the constriction of gender and race. Students will write response papers, give class presentations, and write a final scholarly essay on a topic of their choice.

Theresa Gaul

TR 5-6:20 

Core categories: WEM

English majors:  American Literature, Early Literature and Culture

Writing majors:  English Literature and Language

This course focuses on life writing in early America from the colonial period through approximately 1830. It will introduce you to letters, diaries, legal documents, and other types of autobiographical narratives centered on cultural encounter, captivity, slavery, travel, religious conversion, relationships, crime, and execution. We will also consider the connection of life writing to genres such as poetry and novels. Throughout the course we will pay careful attention to the assumptions autobiographical writings make about selfhood and experience in the context of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, European imperial and settler colonialism in the Americas, the formation of the nation of the United States, and the communications transformations occurring in the period that shaped manuscript and print cultures. We will give particular focus to how members of marginalized and oppressed groups used life writing to advocate for social change.

Linda K. Hughes

MW 4:00-5:20

Core requirement: HUM

ENGL Majors requirement: British literature

WRI Elective

WGST minor/major: Elective

This course offers a transatlantic, multimedia survey of the King Arthur legends retold from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century. About half our readings will be in British literature (Alfred Tennyson, T. H. White), half in American literature (Mark Twain, Marion Zimmer Bradley). One course question is why writers return to the legend of a medieval king and cultural hero in a modern world that is increasingly global and defined by technologized warfare rather than chivalry.

Race and gender will also be central to this course since Arthurian matter could be used to support or subvert white supremacy and heteronormative gender and sexuality. To expand the range of how legendary kings are embodied in narratives, the ideals a realm can enact, and the gendering of great warriors, we will screen and discuss Ryan Coogler’s film Black Panther (2018) after we examine Tennyson and Twain.

We’ll also explore specific cultural contexts that frame modern adaptations of Arthurian legend, including British imperialism; American democracy and international economic opportunism; World War II and fascism; and feminism’s relation to religion. In addition to reading fiction, poetry, and occasional critical essays as well as screening Black Panther, we will be examining Arthurian paintings, drawings, and illustrations. The principal coursework will consist of an extended image analysis (4-7 pp.) of Twain illustrations or an Arthurian painting, a comparative essay on King T’Challa and King Arthur and/or their respective realms (3-4 pp.), an oral summary/response on a critical or theoretical reading, reading quizzes, and a final exam on T. H. White’s Once and Future King and Bradley’s Mists of Avalon

Ann George

TR 11:00-12:30

English majors:  Writing

Writing majors:  Design & Editing, Digital Intensive

Prerequisites for undergraduates: WRIT 40283 or permission of the instructor.

In Advanced Editing and Publishing, students learn to use the Chicago Manual of Style to copyedit manuscripts intended for publication. Topics include the editorial process (both academic and commercial), creating style sheets, distinguishing levels of copyediting, the ethics and politics of editing, and current issues in the publishing business (such as the rise of self-publishing and lack of inclusiveness within publishing houses and the books they publish). This is a fast-paced, grammar-intensive, project-based course. The major course project will be collaboratively editing a manuscript for publication by TCU Press. By the end of the semester, students will be prepared for editorial internships, institutes and graduate programs in editing and publishing, or jobs as editorial assistants.

Required Text: Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. U of Chicago P. 

Likely supplemental texts include:

Einsohn, Amy, and Marilyn Schwartz. The Copyeditor’s Handbook, 4th ed. U of California P, 2019.

Saller, Carol Fisher. The Subversive Copy Editor, 2nd ed.U of Chicago, 2016.

Carmen Kynard

TR 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Core categories: CSV, HUM

Attributes:  Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies

“Word is Bond” is how we define Black rhetoric and language in this class.  When we talk about Black rhetoric and language, we are talking about communication and persuasion, but we do so in relation to justice, freedom, and joy against all odds.  Black rhetoric is more than just speeches, marches, and public presentations by Black people, though it includes all of that.  Black rhetoric is about freedom imaginations and the language and communication that work towards those freedoms.  Rhetoric for freedom is a different kind of flavor and urgency and that’s why we say that “word is bond.” From the Dirty Blues to Dirty South Trap beats, from literacy in slavery to tiktok, from the New Negro Movement to Black Lives Matter, from David Walker to Malcom X, from Maria Stewart to Charlene Carruthers, fromjoy&paintosunshine&rain, we’ll look at how Black communities use the word to make a world anew (for more, go

Curt Rode

TR 11:00 to 12:30


English majors:  Upper-Division Elective

Writing majors:  Creative Writing, Digitally-intensive overlay

What is electronic literature? How do our assumptions about literature and creative writing shift when we study and produce literary texts that are “born digital”?

This course will explore the composition of creative work using digital technologies – collage, graphic narratives, multimedia poetry/fiction, and creative short animations.  The course emphasizes concepts in creative writing, multimedia, and authorship in digital environments.  Students design and compose a variety of multimedia products incorporating typography, image, animation, and other modes.

While a specific background in digital composing is not required, a sincere desire to play (and play some more) with digital composing tools is a big plus. You’re not going to break anything or kill anybody.  Just get ready to play.

Chantel L. Carlson

M 4-5:20

English Majors: Writing

Writing Majors: Internship

This 1.5 credit-hour course is for students with an interest in literary magazine publication and basic web design.   Students in the course will work in every stage of the production of the semester’s print issue ofeleven40seven, TCU’s undergraduate journal of the arts, and its web edition (  Specifically, students will gain knowledge of and experience in (1) the history and purpose of the student literary magazine, (2) the selection, editing, and proofing of the semester’s submissions, (3) the journal’s print layout and the design of the issue’s web edition, and (4) the distribution and promotion of the completed issue.  Students will also receive, as needed, practical software training. The course may be repeated for credit.

Chantel L. Carlson

W 4-5:20

English Majors: Writing

Writing Majors: Internship

This 1.5 credit-hour service-learning course is intended for students with an interest in basic book publication and web design, as well as community outreach.   Students in the course will be working directly with The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, listening to and collecting stories about why people come into this field of work.  Their mission is “to inspire and empower women, men, and children to overcome violence, crisis, and poverty.” Their stories will be collected and compiled as a series of monologues in a chapbook; this may require time spent on site.  Students will gain knowledge of and experience in (1) the history and purpose of monologues as a form of dramatic storytelling, (2) the collection, selection, editing, and proofing of participants’ stories, (3) the design of the chapbook’s print layout, and (4) the distribution and promotion of published chapbook.  Students will also receive, as needed, practical software training. The course may be repeated for credit. 

Joddy Murray

MW 4:00 pm - 5:20 pm

Core categories: CA, WEM

English majors: Elective 

Writing majors:  Rhetoric & Culture

CRES & WGST Approved Course

With the growing importance of digital technology in education, commerce, employment, health and entertainment, this course sets out to examine the crucial relationships between technology, cultural identity, and authorship. We will examine how issues of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and ability are composed using various composing technologies, as well as how these technologies have been challenged and modified through the efforts of diverse people. Additionally, we will also explore the growing debate surrounding the "digital divide" and issues regarding access within the context of the 21st century—in both advanced as well as developing countries. Finally, we will look at the ways communities (including online communities) construct themselves rhetorically, especially in terms of how these communities form their identities within a social context based on cultural identity. By looking specifically at the way social identities and technology have been and continue to be entwined, and by considering alternative constructions of race, class, gender, sexual identification, and ability, this course will ask each student to explore contemporary issues around inclusiveness that are increasingly part of our national discourse.

Charlotte Hogg

MWF 10:00-10:50

Writing Majors: Major Seminar (REQUIRED for students who declared in or after Fall 2014)

Note: English majors/minors may not enroll in this course without special permission.

This course is designed for Writing majors and minors to take stock of your academic endeavors so far and launch you into possibilities beyond college. There are two intersecting goals: 1) reinforce your research and writing practices through an in-depth research project in writing studies and 2) to investigate professional opportunities and practices that highlight writing. You’ll consider your interests in the context of writing studies, careers that involve writing, and your own habits and productivity as a writer. Regardless of whether your interests lean more toward creative writing, rhetoric and culture, or design and editing, there are a host of possibilities and expectations to explore through your research, study of your own writing practices, exploring writing careers, and creating your own professional portfolio. Likely texts include Researching Writing, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, and more. Prerequisites: Writing majors and minors only; students must have junior or senior standing and must have completed one 30000-level ENGL or WRIT course. 

Carrie Leverenz

MWF 1-1:50 

Core Categories: WEM

English majors: Writing

Writing majors: Design and Editing

WRIT 40233, Writing for Publication, focuses on both key terms in the phrase “writing for publication.” In addition to writing multiple pieces in publishable magazine genres such as features, profiles, and commentaries, students will also explore the cultural work that publication does—Who writes and publishes? What kind of writing gets published? What purposes do magazines serve? How does digital publication affect magazine writing and its circulation?


Blog writing; Drafts and revisions of Feature, Profile, and Commentary; “Why’s This So Good” group presentation; Class magazine.


John McPhee, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

Best American Magazine Writing 2021

Constance Hale, Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose.

Additional reading as assigned.

Sharon Anderson Harris

TR 3:50-4:50 pm

Core:  WEM

English majors:  Theory

Writing majors: Rhetoric and Culture 

If you have ever marched in a rally, ever affixed a bumper sticker, ever used 140 characters to blast a position, you realize that carefully nuanced arguments seldom make the heart race and the blood rise. The propagandist, however, can deliver a one-time sound bite or inflammatory billboard and raise a crowd that shouts and sings and asks to sign up. In addition, the propagandist might over time conduct “discursive grooming,” as Naomi Oreskes calls it, to make the target audience receptive to the reduction of complex problems to a single view, distorting other stakeholders’ positions through out-of-context quotations and misleading data. In sum, the only objective of propaganda is to win over an audience by any means. Of course, acts of persuasion that call on verifiable evidence and careful reasoning are created every moment, alongside propaganda. So you may very well ask: What is the difference between propaganda and persuasion? And why are we persuaded by one and not the other? Can propaganda ever be considered moral? Is war “peace”? Is freedom “slavery”? Is ignorance “strength”? These propositions from George Orwell’s 1984 come alive today as we consider the bumfuzzling array of online images, videos, and sound bites, some of which are moralistic, some acts of persuasion, some propaganda.

In this course we will examine documentary film, animated film, current digital communications, and twentieth-century fiction in the light of selected theories of persuasion and propaganda. Students will write several short analytical papers responding to the films and fiction through various theoretical lenses.

Ann George

Day/Time: TBA  

English majors:  Writing

Writing majors:  Internship

Students with 60 credit hours and a Writing/English GPA of 3.0 or CUM GPA of 2.8 can receive workplace experience (and, depending on agency policy, sometimes a stipend) from companies or agencies in publishing, advertising, grant writing, web writing, or other fields. Duties are arranged to fit each student’s schedule, and work opportunities may include research gathering, editing, social media/web authoring, or document production. Students will produce a writing portfolio at the end of term. Students need to work a minimum of 8 hours a week during the semester to receive three hours of credit. This course may be repeated once for credit.

Interested students should read through internship procedures and agency contacts on the English department website. 

NOTEStudents should plan to meet with the internship coordinator the semester before the one in which they’ll be enrolled in the course. Students are responsible for setting up their own internships. Some internships are competitive, and some require applications 6 weeks-6 months in advance. Each agency may have only 2 interns per semester. Internships for fall semester must be confirmed by the first Monday in August and internships for spring by the end of fall finals week.

Jason Helms

TR 9:30 – 11

English majors: WRIT

Writing majors: Design and Editing, Digital Overlay

In this course, students will learn the technological and rhetorical fundamentals of sound and podcasting. Students will learn how to record, edit, and publish podcasts. Perhaps more importantly, they will explore the various genres of podcasts and create their own. While the products for this class may not seem like traditional academic essays, they will fulfill the same functions as academic essays, and we will talk and read extensively about what the difference is. We will read theories of meaning-making in sound, listen to podcasts both as examples and as theories themselves, and make our own podcasts.